Vienna: Let Them Eat Cake!! Don't mind if we do!!

Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
Trip End Sep 04, 2008

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Thursday, July 17, 2008

If Salzburg is the home of Mozart, then Vienna is......also the home of Mozart? He lived in Vienna as an adult and composed some of his finest operas in this city. Vienna too, embraces their Mozart claim to fame. Pictures of the man adorn every shop and every corner. Vienna sets itself apart from Salzburg by having several huge royal palaces. One in particular, Schonbrunn palace was spectacular. It takes all day to see this lovely estate. I'm sure that most of you have seen this palace in the movies. It was the home of Maria Teresa, empress of Austria and later home to Franz Josef II and his wife Elisabeth or "Sissi", as she was called. Sisi was known for her beauty and slender waist. She is revered now after her death and remembered as a tragic victim of over exposure and royal duty. In reality she was reclusive and standoffish in every aspect of her life. Perhaps it was that she could never find a toilet!! Sissi was stabbed to death by an Italian terrorist. A tragic life lived and lost. Sissi is bigger than Mozart to the Viennese people.
On display in the palace are her dressing rooms and bathing area. This place is dripping with golden filigree and tapestries galore!! Also inside the palace walls, we found a labyrinth, a carriage museum, the palace gardens and a zoo. I got to see a baby panda which made my day! We caught an apple strudel presentation where they show you how to make the traditional style, plus you get a free sample!!
The next day we toured the old town and went to a few museums. One museum was dedicated to what else, more Sissi memorabilia including the knife with which she was stabbed. We also toured the royal apartments and got to see the royal dishes and cake pans. In a place like Vienna, the royal cake pans are pretty important!!! Stephansdom cathedral is a must see in Vienna for one reason. You get to see the golden altar. We used an audio guide and toured the main parts of the church. Churches are a great way to relax and get away from the rain. Outside we were talked into buying some tickets for a Mozart/Strauss concert which was perfect because we had wanted to see some sort of musical performance. The concert was not as nice as we thought it would be, but still worth the money I guess. A quintet of musicians played selections from Mozart and Strauss while a ballet dancer performed and opera singers belted out their best rendition of the songs you know and love. It was like seeing an off Broadway play. Not the greatest show on Earth, but amusing enough. Also while in Vienna, we tracked down "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt. Its one of my favorite paintings and I wasn't sure exactly which museum it was in since they move it around so much. After 3 museums we found it! It was just as beautiful as I thought it would be. We bought some postcards and once again braved the rain. We were starting to get pretty soggy at this point. Thank god Vienna had a lot of museums and palaces to duck into. We saw pretty much all the art we could manage. The only thing we didn't get to see here were the Spanish Riding School horses. They were out of town and we didn't think it was worth the money to see the mares and foals, especially since they don't do anything but run in circles. I guess we will just have to come back to Vienna and see all the things we missed. We can't wait to head off to Hungary and see my friend Janos!!

Ta-ta from Wien!!
rach & shan

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ofhenderson on

Rain, Mozart, and Art
You are enjoying some pretty fun things. I love classical music (I know how's that possibel, the girl who lives off of KoRn). & Art Museums galore. (We went to the Guggenheim in NY and paid a dollar to see a toilet! WHAT is that about! So it was the history Museum instead.) I wish I was there! Okay, we all wish we could have crammed in that suit case you sent home.
Hugs, Oletha, Brad, & Brett-ly

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